Railroad Earth On Mountain Stage

Railroad Earth, the roots-based jam band from Stillwater, N.J. visited Mountain Stage to play songs from its new self-titled album.

Formed in 2001, Railroad Earth came together when singer-songwriter Todd Shaeffer, formally of From Good Homes, joined forces with veterans of the East Coast bluegrass scene, including fiddler Tim Carbone, multi-instrumentalist Andy Goessling and sought-after session player John Skehan. Taking their name from the Jack Kerouac story "October in the Railroad Earth" — a nod to the beat influence that colors their sound — Shaeffer and co. were an instant hit on the summer festival circuit.

Carrying on the tradition of improvisational, genre-spanning music laid forth by the Grateful Dead, Railroad Earth mixes folk, country and rock with a bluegrass sensibility. The group plays four songs from their new release, including the epic train song "The Jupiter and the 119" and the Celtic-inspired "On the Banks."

This segment concludes with the Mountain Stage Band's Bob Thompson playing his original composition "Piano Man Blues." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.